Me, Too

To all the people out there who have ever had
their boob grabbed by a stranger,
their butt smacked in a bar,
something slipped into that drink you said no to
after he asked you four times because he couldn’t
possibly imagine someone saying no to him.
After he calls you a bitch for not drinking it.
Who have had someone call them a whore after
they don’t respond to a cat call.
Who have had their bra snapped open in public
because you didn’t want to talk.
Who have been told to go home and change because
their summer clothes were “too distracting.”
Who have ever felt like they were being raised as an object;
a small object, fragile, submissive.
Who has had to constantly look over their shoulders
when they walk down the street alone
and grab tight hold of a pepper spray key chain
when someone walks by.
Who had to ask a friend to pretend to be your significant other
just so others wouldn’t grab you on the dance floor.
Who has listened to their coworkers rate other girls’ asses
and they think the look of horror on your face is because
they forgot to compliment yours.
Who has ever been told their boobs aren’t big enough to make good tips,
whose boss gave them an unsolicited back rub
and then slipped them a hotel room key,
who felt like they had to take bad behavior just to keep their job,
to keep the peace, to stay afloat.
To all the people who have ever felt degraded,
violated, objectified, powerless, silenced,
I’m sorry.
Who felt like they had to keep everything suppressed
just to get through the day,
I’m sorry.
Who were told to stop making a big deal about it,
I’m sorry.
Who were told, “Don’t call it that.”
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry this is the world you were brought into,
I’m sorry that these ideas continue to be conditioned,
I’m sorry for the times I, myself, was apathetic,
For the times I thought, “Well, what do you expect?”
I’m sorry that this is still a fight against reality,
still an argument,
instead of just a plain right and wrong.
I’m sorry.
Me, too.

Advertisements

My Top 3 Most Awkward First Date Moments

I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Dating was important to me from a fairly young age, because I thought that being in love would fix all of my problems, from my glaring emotional insecurities to why pants never fit me right. So when the time came around for me to date, I wanted to do it correctly.

The problem was that I was growing up during the dawn of the internet and a golden age of romantic comedies, and while young me hoped this would provide answers, it only created a crowded and ambiguous thought bubble full of questions. Questions that I still have to this very day.

And so, here we are.

1.


From my pre-teen years onward, I always thought it was kind of weird that men were expected to pay for everything on dates, based on what I had observed and read. I understood where the idea came from, but now that we were living in a time in which women earned their own money and forged their own independent paths, it didn’t make sense to me. I also feel horribly uncomfortable whenever anyone does anything for me. If I ever broke my leg, I would still limp my way to the kitchen for a glass of water to avoid inconveniencing anyone.

Of course as an uptight, angry teen, I thought the idea of a woman paying was highly progressive and that my cause would contribute to the betterment of humanity. To the point that I was pretty militant about it. Any guy who offered to pay got a hard no (it, of course, never occurred to me that the money I spent usually came from my father’s wallet since I had no pennies to speak of at the time).

When I was about 19, I was talking to an ex-boyfriend and he casually mentioned that while he supported my viewpoint, if someone wants to treat you, sometimes it’s polite to just let them treat you. So when another guy pulled up to my house for our first date, saying he was going to treat me to miniature golf, I decided I was going to try and be treated. What could be so bad about a treat?

When we arrived at the mini golf course, I started to panic. The idea of letting him pay made me feel so…dependent, powerless, weak. I was coming around to understanding that’s not always how the treat-er sees it, but the helplessness that started to take over my body was uncomfortable and making me feel sick. So when he was about to walk over to pay for our mini golf outing, I knew it was going to happen.

But that didn’t mean I had to see it happen.

“I…uh….” I stammered.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, all good, I just uh…” Think, Jillian, think! What is a good excuse? His beautiful face is staring, waiting.

“I’m just…gonna stand over here.” Yes, that makes sense.

“What?”

“I’m just gonna stand over here for a minute.”

“Do you need me to…stay with you?”

“No! No…that’s alright. You go over there. I’m just gonna stay here.”

He raised one eyebrow at me, but he did listen. And he did date me for a little while after this. Bless him.

I then proceeded to hide behind the bathroom building and let the transaction happen at a distance.

It occurs to me all these years later that I could have just said I had to go to the bathroom. That’s probably a more normal thing to do, right? Oh, well.

2.


Because I, like many, was a walking bucket of contradictions (still am, just different contradictions), even though I felt I was pursuing a great feminist plight financially, I also still really wanted boys to like me. This combined with a total lack of social and self-awareness at the time really made some weird science happen.

I used to be a lot more preoccupied with physical appearance than I am now. I think being healthy and feeling your best is important, but back in my teenage years, my warped brain was downright obsessed with keeping my weight low and making sure nobody knew that I ate.

Which proved tough. Because I can eat, friends. Like, really eat. I have no sense of fullness. Only a sense of sickness and self-loathing.

But I thought that showing off this talent would be unattractive to the opposite sex. This started to be a sort of problem when I entered the “getting asked to dinner” phase.

Once for a first date, a guy took me to a nice pub with a small menu, mostly consisting of burgers, wings, and other messy foods that I could chew loudly and get all over myself as I licked the plate clean. Also, he had already said he insisted on paying, and if I was going to allow that, you could bet your arse I was going to get something real cheap. I perused the menu for something that would make me seem dainty and low-maintenance (even though I am neither). I settled on a stuffed mushroom appetizer, knowing how impressed he’d be by my teensy appetite.

“Are you sure that’s what you want for your meal?” The waiter asked. “It’s kind of small.”

“Oh, yes, that sounds perfect,” I responded as my stomach growled at me.

“You girls always eat like birds,” my date said through a small smile (see! It wasn’t just me! We all had them fooled).

Turns out “kind of small” meant one mushroom, stuffed with breadcrumbs and cheese, in the middle of a white plate.

Now I didn’t want to eat too quickly and appear gluttonous or make him feel like he had to eat his actual, normal meal quickly, so I decided to cut the mushroom into crumb-size pieces, fit for the delicate birdie-ness I was emanating, and ate them at a very slow, calculated pace. I think I actually finished after he did.

Then I went home and made myself nachos and he never called me again.

3.


This story, while awkward, is also about effective techniques one can adopt in the face of douchery. It is about survival.

I went on a first date and it was going well. Pretty low-pressure stuff: fruit smoothies, a walk around town. He seemed nice.

Of course it turned out, for this man, a date that’s going well means he’s totes gonna get laid after.

So, as we pulled into my driveway, I leaned in to give him a tame kiss on the lips, and he took my face in his hands and forced my mouth open with his tongue. I pulled myself away because, ew, gross.

“What are you doing?”

“You, hopefully,” he responded with a smugness so potent, I wanted to throw acid on it.

He started leaning in again. His face was mere centimeters from mine.

“I’M OVULATING!”

“What?”

Then I jumped out of the car and ran.

Ending My Stigma Against Myself

I recently did my Myers-Briggs personality breakdown.

For anyone who may not be familiar, the Myers-Briggs system sorts people’s personality types into sixteen different categories, based on four sets of criteria: introverted vs. extraverted, intuitive vs. sensing, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving.

MB

I am an INTJ. No surprises there. If you’d like to take the test, you can do so here: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test (and about 999 other places on the internet).

I’ve never really been a fan of these sorts of things, but I go back and forth on why, depending on the day. Either I think it is impractical to box humans, with all of their complexities, into a simple 16 categories, or I think you’re either a dumbass or not a dumbass and there is no reason to over-complicate it.

It turns out this is a very INTJ thing to say.

Another INTJ thing: this was the most concise chart I could find, but it is taking all of my strength to ignore that it says “extrovert” instead of “extravert.” Extrovert has evolved into an acceptable spelling over the years, but it doesn’t make any linguistic sense.

A me thing: I hate myself for making that statement.

I did the test because we often use it in my office when students are struggling to find a major or a career path. I thought it would be useful for me to better understand the system so I could help the students. As I stated already, I wasn’t exactly shocked by my results, but when I started to do more research, it got a little crazy.

Reading about the INTJ experience was like reading a description of myself: the things I like, the things I’m good (and bad) at, the way I approach conflict, relationships. It was all laid out there on my computer screen.

INTJ is one of the rarest Myers-Briggs personality types, and an INTJ woman is the rarest gender/personality type combination of them all, making up roughly 0.5% of the population. Because of this, an INTJ woman notably has a harder time connecting with other women (and people in general). At first, reading all of this gave me comfort. I had some definition, a name to put to all of my questions about why some seemingly easy things, like being in public, were difficult for me, why I never felt like I was getting anywhere with people. I was just on a different plane. Not a better or worse plane, just different.

There were some qualities of a typical INTJ that I consider good qualities: they are competent workers, they have high professional standards for themselves and others, they embrace the weird and the creative, they are known as the entrepreneurs, strategists, architects. Some famous INTJs include Mark Zuckerberg, Nikolai Tesla, and other innovative thinkers.

But then, I started to get angry.

Because as I scrolled through my Google results, I started to see headlines like, “How to be a Likable INTJ Woman,” and, “Maintaining Your Femininity as an INTJ Woman,” or, “What It’s Like Being an INTJ Woman (And How to Fix it).” It was like the greater population’s consensus was that I needed to be repaired, reprogrammed. And there was nothing about being a likable INTJ man or person. Just woman.

This all started to make me think about all the times I’ve been called a bitch, arrogant, odd, crazy. How many times people have offered up ways I could improve myself, tricks and tips for behaving like a normal woman. I absorbed that information deeply within myself, as an INTJ would, and took it seriously. I set out to make myself a different me because I truly believed the me I had developed over the course of my life was poorly built. I’m really, really tired of thinking that way. It is hard to be fighting with yourself all the time.

Now that I’m older, I realize…I am odd. That’s okay. Call me odd. But if we are going to throw around nasty terms at one another, I think they should be reserved for those filled with malice, ill-intent, hatred, sadism. I’ve never approached any social situation with anything other than discomfort and obsessive concern about whether or not I’ll be wanted. I don’t think I deserve to be called a bitch because I don’t fit into your idea of what I should be. We may have different interests, but we are both human, and that means something.

And you know what? As Tina Fey once said, “bitches” get stuff done. And so do INTJ women.

 

My Top 5 Good Things for Getting Through These Dark Times

Welp, Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I’m not going to get terribly political here but I’ll just say this wasn’t my first choice.

And with how quickly news spreads these days, especially considering the media’s got this guy under a microscope, it’s been pretty easy to feel bummed out, to say the least.

While I do feel called to fight much of this, fiercely and ferociously, sometimes you just need a quick fix of good things and good thoughts (provided you can temporarily turn off the thought of all the people who don’t have the good things).

Tasty Videos: Nothing better to put your mind at ease than watching delicious things being mixed together to make delicious food. Watching these videos is so relaxing! Seeing different things working together, complementing one another, into a giant melting pot filled with sense, reason, kindness, and acceptance. Imagine that!

Pictures and videos of dogs being dogs: Need I explain? We should all be more like dogs.

We’re due a messiah any day now! Whether you believe he already stopped by once or not, there is a chance we’ll get a savior very soon! And if you see a big, hairy guy with a pink umbrella or a very pale, winged person dressed in white, it could be you!

This is a terrific time for comedy. With badness comes satire and with satire comes laughter. I’ve been watching more Saturday Night Live than I have in my entire life. I feel like anyone could just go onstage at an open mic and say, “Donald Trump is our president,” and that would be enough material for a whole set. Guys, this guy is our president. Previous credits include host of The Apprentice and Orange is the New Orange.

Good exists. Fundamentally, I believe most people are good, and that if you encounter hatred, combat it with kindness. Be a citizen. Be a door holder. Be present, listen intently, research fiercely, and, most importantly, consider the lobster. Each one of us only gets one life and I think we should be doing our best to make it as easy for each other as possible.

My Top 5 Paris Gellar-isms

I had an entry prepared for last week that discussed how I was trying to mine for hope after the presidential election results came out, but ultimately decided against posting it because a) I was trying to promote an understanding that I was having a hard time experiencing and b) I was trying to make sense of something that didn’t make sense to me, and so the resulting entry was essentially nonsense.

But onward and awkward. Let’s talk about the Gilmore Girls revival. Because while women will have to continue to wait for societal equality, we will no longer have to wait for more quick, witty banter, obscure pop culture references, and Emily Gilmore zingers.

I love Gilmore Girls. It was one of my favorite shows growing up and I perhaps love it even more now. I associate it with these feelings of complete comfort and acceptance. The Stars Hollow universe was a place where people could just kind of be who they were, and when I was young, I really wanted a place like that, even if I really had no idea who I was.

In my not-always-popular opinion, the two best characters on Gilmore Girls are Emily Gilmore and Paris Gellar. It is rare to find fully-fleshed, completely grounded, complex female characters on television, and the Palladinos absolutely nailed it with these two. Plus, truthfully, I’m a bit biased because Emily reminds me of my own mother and grandmother in many ways and because Paris Gellar reminds me of me, especially me in high school and the first ½ of college—a young girl so terrified of loneliness and inadequacy that she refuses to emotionally connect with anyone, out of fear that they will make her feel lonely and inadequate, and in turn directly causes her own loneliness and perpetuates her own feelings of inadequacy (well, social inadequacy, at any rate. To compensate, she throws all of herself into feeling intellectually adequate, which I can also really relate to). A couple months ago when that “Post Your 3 Fictional Characters” thing was all over the internet, I never ended up posting mine because I firmly concluded Liz Lemon and Paris Gellar, and then I couldn’t decide between Hermione Granger and Daria. Probably will go with Hermione because it makes me less worried about myself.

Anywho, in honor of the revival, here are my top 5 most Paris Gellar-isms.

  1. I have this notion ingrained in my head that there is a right way to “do” parties, that socializing is a completely objective thing that I can crack scientifically through hypotheses, trial, and error. Therefore, I get excited when I go out somewhere, in the hopes that I will figure it out this time. Instead, I end up woefully disappointed and profusely regret not staying home.
  2. Yesterday, at work, I got into a heated argument about apostrophes. One of my biggest grammatical pet peeves is that many think adding an apostrophe and an “s” on a word that is not normally pluralized is the proper way to pluralize it. That is not true. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s true. I waited until everyone was gone and corrected the offending bulletin board that caused the problem in the first place.
  3. After I see a movie, I immediately start commenting on all the flaws in the script. It takes me days to decide whether or not I enjoyed it.
  4. I have a vivid memory of when I was six-years-old and some boys were making fun of me. Of course it was getting to me but instead of outwardly crying, I just looked straight at them and said, “You are primitive knuckle-draggers who don’t understand anything about anything and choose to translate your confusion into obnoxious behavior. I will not be a victim to such stupidity. Good day gentlemen.” (My grandmother watched me a lot when I was a kid and she was a big vocabulary advocate.) They just looked at me, silently, like I was nuts. Then another girl told them to eat poop. This girl ended up being my best friend for a really long time.
  5. You should see my boyfriend and me dance. Classic Paris and Doyle.

Further to the point, Paris and I also share the same bitchy resting face. I would love to see her reaction to someone telling her to smile. Also, when I argue, I argue loudly, firmly, and I talk as fast as I can. I like to think I picked that up from her.

November 25th can’t get here fast enough!!!!

Your Perfect Woman

Hello, I am your perfect woman.

I am completely hairless, outside of the hair on top of my head

(blonde or brunette, your choice),

Long lashes, thin eyebrows.

The rest of me maintains the smoothness of a fresh wax

Without having to go to the salon,

Like a Thanksgiving turkey before it goes in the oven.

I somehow have a tiny waist,

Large, perky tits and a plump, firm ass,

That physically could not be held up by my long, thin legs,

But what can I say? I’m perfect.

I don’t wear makeup because I don’t have to,

Because I look like I’m wearing it even when I’m not;

I wake up in the morning with a smile, looking bright,

With breath that smells like a spring daisy.

I don’t fart.

Or burp.

Or chafe.

Or sweat.

My sneezes and coughs tiptoe around your important conversations.

What was that sport you like again?

I know everything about it.

I drink whiskey, but it doesn’t make me mean or sloppy.

No, when I drink, I just become more lively, more dazzling,

And more horny (but I’m not a slut).

I eat racks of ribs without getting sauce on my face

And I chew as quietly as I sneeze.

You love me because I call people out on their b.s.

But I never call you out on anything

Because I agree with you on everything.

I’m smart, but I’m not smarter than you.

I’m funny, but I’m not funnier than you.

I’m financially independent, but I don’t make more money than you.

I’m never too tired to do things for you;

I keep clean and don’t say an un-clever word.

I’m sweet and kind and innocent.

I’m tough and strong and worldly.

I need you when you want to be needed

And no more or less than that.

I call you when you miss me

And no more or less than that.

I want to have sex whenever you want to

(but I’m not a slut).

In fact, I’ve never had sex before you,

But I’m really good at it.

And I love sexy underwear.

Really, I love it.

I love how the thong nestles itself in my butt,

Like food stuck in your teeth,

And how the lace makes me itch

Like bugs crawling over me.

But I wouldn’t think of revealing my skin to others.

My body is yours, darling.

I never embarrass you because I’m always “on.”

I’m never emotionally vulnerable;

That would make me crazy.

In fact, maybe I’m too guarded

Because of my insecurities,

Because even though I’m perfect,

I just don’t realize it.

You need something to fix, after all.

I’m your perfect woman

And you will settle for no less.

My Top 5 Most Awkward Halloweens

I had a lovely post all written out for today, perfectly catered to reflect my awkwardness, and then my work computer crashed and I was told the files were not recoverable. So, alas, here we are. It was important to me to get a post out today since I missed last week, so I guess I’ll just have to wing it.

Halloween has always been such a weird time for me. You’d think it would be my favorite holiday, as it combines two of my favorite activities: being overly theatrical and soliciting candy from strangers. But for whatever reason, Halloween always leaves me with a particular, profound sort of emptiness. Maybe it has never lived up to my expectations. Or maybe I just associate it with less than fond memories.

I’m really looking forward to the weekend ahead of me: I’ll spend time with friends I haven’t seen in a while, I’ll get to sleep next to my boyfriend, I am entirely too proud of my costume. But I have no doubt I will still feel weird and moody and uncomfortable and somehow lonely. Because that is what Halloween does to me.

Anyhow, here are some of my awkward Halloween memories to share with you.

The Time I Thought I Turned My Dog into a Pumpkin

The first Halloween I have committed to memory is when I was three years old. I was dressed as a fairy princess and was upset that I wasn’t accomplishing real magic, despite having a magic wand in my possession. My father, bless his heart, convinced me that if I closed my eyes very tightly, I could turn my dog, Brittany, into a pumpkin. While my eyes were shut, my father very swiftly put Brittany into another room and put a pumpkin in her place. I opened my eyes and my jaw dropped to the floor, but my reaction was not what my father was hoping for. I became grossly upset with myself, worried that my dog was gone for good, that she was trapped in a pumpkin and terrified, and that I had used my powers for evil. Of course, my dog did come back, but I retired my wand that day, and a part of me thinks that the reason I’m so obsessed with dogs is my penance for trapping my dog inside a pumpkin. And my punishment is that they usually ignore me, for I need their love way more than they need mine.

The Time I Learned a Lesson About Society

When I was five or so, I really wanted to be Belle for Halloween. She had brown hair, brown eyes, and liked stories, so we were essentially twins. My mom, at the time, told me that all Halloween stores were out of the costume, but I knew the truth when I saw my skinny cousin wearing the costume a few weeks later: they didn’t make the costume in my size. Chubby girls couldn’t be Belle. I will believe in progress when I see a movie with an overweight woman as a romantic lead, and not a single comment is made about her weight. Dear world, promote health, promote happiness, and stop making women feel like shit about themselves all the time and then telling them their insecurity is unattractive. You’re unattractive, world.

The Time That Somehow, Every Single Year, I Managed to be Either the Only Kid in School Who Wore a Costume, or the Only Kid in School Who Didn’t

Every…damn…time

The Time I Went Trick-or-Treating by Myself

Up until the eighth grade, I only really had one close friend, and we went trick-or-treating together every year. But one year, in the fifth grade, she had pneumonia and couldn’t go. I had two options: I could mooch off of my brothers’ candy, or I could go by myself. Destiny’s Child was big at the time, and so naturally I valued myself as a strong, independent woman, because Beyonce told me to, so I went by myself. I’m not sure if there is a sadder sight than a 10-year-old going door to door, her mom waiting for her at the curb, with her head hung in defeat because she realized this was incredibly boring, miserably asking, “Trick-or-treat?” in her voice that is 50 years ahead of her body, development wise. This is the first time I can recall having the weird Halloween feelings; feelings of overwhelming loneliness that are evoked by the sights and smells of Halloween to this very day.

The Time I Had Alcohol

My first alcohol experience was on Halloween. I had approximately four sips of Kahlua, so naturally I felt wasted. I ended the night eating an entire bag of Oreos and watching Donnie Darko.

So, combine a dog’s soul forever encased inside a vegetable, the denial of my royalty due to unfair discrimination against kids who love to eat, a slew of memories of getting it wrong, a lone trick-or-treating, and the mind-fuck that is Donnie Darko, and you get one awkward time of year.